There are many people that simply throw away shopping coupons or flick straight passed them when they see them in newspapers or magazines. Itâ€™s easy to see why this happens, after all, is it really worth spending 5 minutes searching for a coupon and cutting it out when it only gives you $0.25 off a box of washing powder? However, there is a simple strategy you can use that will make coupon cutting a worthwhile exercise.
A couple of months ago I was talking to a friend about the pros and cons of coupons and he mentioned a handy little tip that has changed my opinion on coupon collecting. His advice was to take the coupon section out of the Sunday paper and just put it to one side, without even looking at it. He then said to wait 4 weeks and open up the section and cut out any coupons that took my interest, no matter whether Iâ€™d normally buy them or not.
He then told me to take all the coupons to my local store and check them against the products on the shelves: Straight away I was shocked to see that many of the coupons were for products that were already on sale! When I combined both the coupon and the sale price I found I was making a huge saving and getting the products for next to nothing.
I tried this strategy just last week and found that nearly 50% of the coupons I cut out were for sale items in the store. I managed to get a large jar of pickle for under a dollar, bathroom cleaner at the cheapest price Iâ€™ve ever paid and a large box of cookies for just $0.24! And those were just a few of the deals I managed to get.
This also works online with many coupons & vouchers sites offering a range of deals from top Australian merchants. I have found Zippy to have the most comprehensive spread of online coupons codes and in-store deals from companies like Woolworths, 7 Eleven and KFC.
So why does this strategy work? Well, large companies regularly offer coupons when they want to push the sale of a product. After a few weeks on the shelves these companies will then put these products on sale to ensure they still sell well. The reason companies do this is to ensure that a productâ€™s sales trend looks continuously positive, rather than having a big sales spike in the first few weeks and then a dramatic drop off. There is also the strategy of offering the product with a coupon to get the customer interested and then the next time they are in the store, and see the product on sale, they will probably be tempted to buy it again.
I have now changed my shopping routine to fit in with the coupon strategy and can already notice the benefits. I still do my usual weekly shopping list but now scan through the 4 week old coupons to see if there are any vouchers for items on my list. I also make sure I write down any item that I am running low on and then I can look for these items each time I go through a new 4-week-old coupon section.
My new technique has a double bonus too: Not only are the voucher codes saving me around $15-20 per week on my shops, they also speed up my shopping trips as I now look for specific products on the shelves and am a lot more focused.
So next time you see that section of vouchers in your Sunday paper donâ€™t just skip passed or throw it in the recycling. Put it to one side and wait a few weeks and you may be surprised at just how much you can save.